Nurse and patient
My nurses... were very polite and had excellent bed side manners. I also liked their sense of humor, it took away the nervousness and worries.
 
-- Anonymous, Patient Satisfaction Survey - 2010

Glossary

 

A

Adenoma Lesion thought to be a precursor to colorectal cancer.

B

Barium enema See Lower GI series

Barrett’s esophagus Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the tissue lining the esophagus—the muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach—is replaced by tissue that is similar to the lining of the intestine. Barrett’s esophagus is commonly found in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

BRAVO® pH testing A tiny capsule is attached to the esophagus to measure the levels of stomach acid (pH testing) in the esophagus. The information is transmitted to a receiver worn on the belt like a cell phone or pager. The patient notes in a diary the times when heartburn symptoms occur. The test usually lasts 1-2 days.

Breath testing The breath test involves breathing into specialized equipment, filling a balloon with air. After drinking liquid (made of varying substances depending on what is being tested for) more breath samples are taken. The test lasts 3-5 hours.

C

Celiac disease Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms.

Clinical Research Clinical research is a branch of medical science that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use. These may be used for prevention, treatment, diagnosis or for relieving symptoms of a disease. The Food and Drug Administration oversees all aspects of clinical research.

Colitis See Ulcerative Colitis

Colon One of the two main parts of the large intestine. The other is the rectum.

Colonoscopy Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a long, flexible lighted scope to see inside the colon and rectum for evaluation or treatment, or both. Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers and abnormal growths.

The procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus and weight loss.

Crohn’s disease An ongoing disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease can affect any area of the GI tract but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine.

D

Diverticulum (plural = diverticula) Bulges in the intestinal wall.

E

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) ERCP combines the use of x-rays and an endoscope, a long, flexible, lighted tube. Through the endoscope, the physician can see the inside of the stomach and duodenum, and inject dyes into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on x-rays.

Endoscopy Endoscopy is an examination of the inside of an organ with an endoscope, a long, flexible tube with a light and video camera. It is a minimally invasive procedure.

Esophageal motility disorders Conditions in which the esophagus does not contract correctly, causing swallowing difficulties.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) An exam of the upper digestive tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) using an endoscope. (Also called Gastroscopy or Upper Endoscopy)

Esophagus The muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.

F

Feces Waste eliminated from the bowels.

Fistulae Abnormal openings in the intestinal wall that lead to the abdominal cavity, other organs or the skin’s surface.

G

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter opens spontaneously or does not close properly and stomach contents rise up into the esophagus.

Gastroscopy A procedure to visualize the stomach using a special kind of endoscope inserted through the esophagus.

GERD See gastroesophageal reflux disease

H

Hiatal hernia Occurs when a portion of the stomach bulges into the chest cavity.

I

Inflammatory bowel disease Inflammatory bowel disease is the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the intestines, most often referring to Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Infrared coagulation A special device is used to burn away hemorrhoidal tissue.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder characterized mostly commonly by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. IBS causes a great deal of discomfort and distress, but it does not permanently harm the intestines.

L

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) Backflow of acid into your esophagus and into your throat and voice box.

Lower GI series

A lower GI series uses x-rays to help diagnose problems of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum.
 
A lower GI series is sometimes called a barium enema because the large intestine is filled with barium liquid. The barium liquid coats the lining of the large intestine and makes signs of disease show up more clearly on x-rays.

Lower GI tract A portion of the small intestine and all of the large intestine (which includes the colon and the rectum).

M

Malabsorption Inability to absorb nutrients from the digestive tract.

Manometry Also called esophageal manometry or esophageal motility study, manometry tests the functioning of the upper esophageal sphincter, esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.

Microscopic colitis A type of bowel inflammation that affects the colon. Microscopic colitis is also called collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis.

P

Pathology Pathology is the study and diagnosis of disease. The scientific study of disease processes is called "general pathology". Medical pathology is divided into two main branches, anatomical pathology and clinical pathology.

pH testing See BRAVO

R

Rectum One of the main parts of the large intestine. The other is the colon.

U

Ulcer A sore on the lining of the digestive tract.

Ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. Ulcers form where inflammation has killed the cells that usually line the colon, then bleed and produce pus. Inflammation in the colon also causes the colon to empty frequently, causing diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Upper GI series Uses x-rays to help diagnose problems of the upper GI tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

Upper GI tract The upper GI tract includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).